Women of the Tempest

A Poem by Maik Strosahl

Based on a painting by Richie Uni Verse

—-for all the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Hear our winds
whistling in your ears,
uttering words
of the storm coming—
it is here,
blowing away
the leaves of our daughters,
yet you do not thunder.

Hear us now!
Haunting your steps
as you walk in a rain of tears.
Where is your sister?
Where is your little girl,
the barely grown woman
whose smile just vanished
in a lightning flash?
Why do you not rage?

I am buried
deep in the cornfield,
she is hidden
shallow in the woods,
we are bound and
screaming breathless
with the girl in the hayloft
just west of the reservation,
innocence lost
to the man who zips up
and ponders where
he will toss her away,
now that she is useless to him.

You ask the neighbors,
you check under a rock,
you look back
to where she used to sit
and shrug your shoulders,
perhaps wondering
through the years

as the leaves continue to blow,
gathering in a distant ditch,
and our voices only come together
in the storms as they brew—
collect your hat and
pull your overcoat
closed around your face
as we rage—
your sister’s,
your daughter’s screams unheard,
their tears falling with the rain.

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